Sunday, February 19, 2012

In the Wings: Red Hot and Cole. Meet Kate Walker.

Kate Walker directs Red Hot and Cole, the fourth show of the 2011-2012 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book is by James Bianchi, Muriel McAuley and Randy Strawderman; the music and lyrics are by Cole Porter.

Question: Why did you want to direct Red Hot and Cole?
Kate Walker: There were lots of elements that drew me to this show. It's got great Cole Porter music. It's quintessential show music, and that's fun to do. I love tap dancing, and we have tap. Cole Porter music lends itself to tap, they go hand in hand. He was quite a character and so were his friends. We're going to bring that to the stage.

Q: What is the format of the show? What will the audience see and hear?
K.W.: They'll hear a lot of Cole Porter music. We cover a lot of ground, from 1913 to 1969; we start at his 22nd birthday and by the end of the show, we are talking about his 70th birthday party, and all years in between. A lot of times we just touch on the years and the songs that come out during those years; it moves at a pretty good clip.

Q: What excites you about working with this cast?
K.W.: They are having so much fun researching the era and their characters. They're learning who Cole Porter was, who his friends were. They're playing real-life people. We're not trying to do imitations of those people at all; that's not what the audience will see. You'll see our interpretation of what we thought that person's personality embodied, which in most cases was a whole lot of fun.

Q: What is your favorite Cole Porter song?
K.W.: I'd have to say "Anything Goes." It's really recognizable, but "So In Love" is a runner-up.

Red Hot and Cole opens Friday, March 2 and runs three consecutive weekends through Sunday, March 18 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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